"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Teddy Roosevelt
If it's possible to have a favorite waterfowl, then I'll take the Common Loon. While paddling Bow Lake after work I had the privilege of seeing no fewer than a dozen adults. There's something magical about this bird. From it's sleek black & white coloring to it's haunting call, to me it epitomizes the wild and wonderful parts of this great state. As I prepare for my first ever kayak race, the Upper Ashuelot Kayak Race in Keene, NH next weekend, I really needed to get the boat in the water today...despite the rain drops. A downriver 9 mile paddle isn't that big of a deal, but I'd really like to race it as much as possible. I put in near the dam and decided to paddle for 30 minutes out, and then return getting in at least an hour. Turns out I managed to make it nearly the entire length of the lake. The water was like glass without as much as a zephyr of a breeze. Despite the precipitation, just a perfect afternoon to paddle. My abs were a bit fatigued as I finished, but all in all I think my paddling fitness is decent. More than likely I'll get at least one more paddle in before race day. I bet the loons will wonder where I've been.
"Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction." - William James